Westeros took over Twitter Sunday, as the premiere episode of season five of Game of Thrones on HBO resulted in more than 898,000 mentions, or some 36,906 tweets per hour, according to social intelligence company Sysomos.
Sysomos wrote in a blog post that the bulk of the tweets came just before or during the broadcast, as fans expressed their anticipation, adding that while the majority of Game of Thrones chatter on Twitter originated from the U.S., other countries were represented, including the U.K., Canada, Argentina, Mexico and France.
The online leak of the first four episodes of the series’ fifth season caused only a slight ripple on the social front, as it totaled just 74,615 mentions, according to Sysomos.
Sysomos compared Sunday’s season debut with the first episode of season four of Game of Thrones last year, finding that the 2014 premiere led to 699,489 mentions across social channels, rising by some 200,000 in 2015.
The company also compared Game of Thrones with other high-profile season premieres, writing:
But was this actually a good performance in terms of season debuts? This is something else we wondered, so we decided to compare Game of Thrones mentions on its season debut day to a few other recent popular television debuts. We pitted it against the season premieres of The Walking Dead, The Americans and Mad Men. What we found was that Game of Thrones had a fairly good showing for social media activity on its season debut day, beating out The Americans and Mad Men on theirs, but it fell about 500,000 mentions short of The Walking Dead on its season debut.
Interestingly, though, when we broke down the social channels to see where conversations around each of these shows was coming from, we found that Game of Thrones was talked about more across blogs, online news sites and forums, but the fans of The Walking Dead blew Game of Thrones out of the water in terms of tweets.
Finally, Sysomos pointed out that brands on Twitter took advantage of the Game of Thrones hype, with the most retweeted example of this sort coming from the National Football League (below), pointing out the fact that Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who portrays Gregor Clegane (The Mountain) on the show, nearly signed with the Indianapolis Colts.
Game of Thrones fans: Did you tweet before or during Sunday’s debut episode?